July 17, 2009

Oh Jason, are you still waiting? (I am, I am and I love this part)


It’s the time of the summer for warm nights, where the air hugs close to your skin. One of my absolute favorite tracks on my summer mix is the combustible “July 4, 2004″ from musician Jason Anderson. My introduction to this urgently wonderful artist came via this one song, dropped in my lap by a friend and played on repeat until I can sing along almost every word about falling in love on Independence Day, and do the drumbeats on the steering wheel from the moment they kick in:

July 4, 2004 – Jason Anderson

I cannot stop recommending that song to everyone, and I cannot listen to it enough times to sate me.

Jason is a musician from New York who has taken a prolific, do-it-yourself approach to getting his visceral music out there: releasing several albums for free, recording mostly live (to capture that fantastic energy), and playing shows standing amidst the crowd to gain enthusiastic singalong audience participation.

It’s undeniable that songs like these owe a debt to Springsteen (even with the occasional haunting wisp of a saxophone coming from a long way off), but also punch forward with modern, literate, rock counterparts like The Hold Steady or Bright Eyes at their fiercest and most honest. One reviewer wrote “The life in his voice is enough to fuel the whole of us,” and I agree completely.

Every once in a long while I come across a song that pricks sneaky tears into the corners of my eyes despite it being a rock and roll anthem, and gives me goosebumps just simply because you can hear the triumph of optimism in the face of the struggles.

This second song of Jason’s that I fell for makes me believe, and goddamn it is beautiful. It is (most of) all I want tonight.

El Paso – Jason Anderson

dusk was hugging the foothills as i drove in
the mountains were draped with shadows east of I-10
the first couple stars like light bright pegs
like a candle in a colander

my brother telephoned from new york state
and he told me about a disastrous date
he said i know there’s lots of fish in the lake
but sometimes it seems like they hibernate

This version of “July 4, 2004″ is from his 2007 album Tonight, and “El Paso” is on The Hopeful and the Unafraid. Also check one of the several free albums he has for download, like On The Street.

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  • Very nice. Jason is one of the best. Glad to see him praised here.

    uwmryan — July 17, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

  • Thanks, I’d never heard of him before. I was thinking a bit of Springsteen, then read that you’d already mentioned him. Maybe some Strummer in there too.

    Chris Yackoboski — July 17, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

  • Heather, ever since you posted July 4 on your Summer playlist, I’ve had it on repeat. Thank you!! Dude’s got a new fan.

    Barber — July 17, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  • Have also had July 4 on repeat. Thanks for the hook up Heather.

    spookycat — July 17, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  • My favorite song of the summer

    David — July 17, 2009 @ 8:19 pm

  • Heather, once again, you rule.

    Never heard of this guy… holy goose bumps…

    Bill — July 18, 2009 @ 3:39 am

  • Hi Heather! Thanks for this introduction! Really outstanding, would make a great mixtape closer…

    Jon — July 18, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  • Man alive. What a song. Thanks Heather. See you at the UMS.

    The Knew — July 18, 2009 @ 10:43 am

  • Thanks for bringing Jason Anderson to my musical attention. I am digging it. You need to check out Mike Mangione. http://www.mikemangione.com….he‘s got a couple albums, one coming out later this year, but Tenebrae is one I feel confident you’ll enjoy. Keep up the good work.

    Ben Schneweis — July 18, 2009 @ 7:00 pm

  • I love when you do your research. Makes my day. :)

    Dainon — July 18, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

  • I interviewed Jason recently. You can read it here!


    Brendan Hilliard — July 18, 2009 @ 9:18 pm

  • dainon — thanks for setting me in the right direction ;)

    browneheather — July 18, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

  • Made my day =)

    Graham — July 19, 2009 @ 3:08 am

  • “I am I am and I love this part”….God I love that part!!! Thanks so much for introducing me to someone I’d not heard of before. Great song.

    Linda T — July 19, 2009 @ 7:38 am

  • The live, extended version from “Tonight” is soooooo much better than the most recent officially released version.

    Drew — July 21, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  • WOW. Thanks for this. You’ve made my summer (so far) with this song. Sitting in south west London wishing I was in the sunshine listening to this. AWESOME

    Jonathan — July 27, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

  • He’s the best! Just saw him in July 2 nights in a row – at a house party and at a small bowling alley. All of a sudden the room was filled with balloons, the sax player was waving a flag and EVERYONE was fist pumping in the air, jumping, and screaming. In-frigging-credible! Go see him if you ever get the chance.

    Berni — July 31, 2009 @ 11:54 am

  • [...] internet. And you should, because it’s joyful, fantastic music. A large thanks, of course, to Heather for the intro to this incredible jam (you can still download it over there- I suggest you do that [...]

    ‘July 4, 2004′- Jason Anderson | songsfortheday — July 4, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  • I just went back and listened to El Paso again… I knew this from the beginning, but I’m only commenting now… Anyone else know “exactly/verbatim” what Springsteen song that is a replica of???

    Kevin — February 14, 2015 @ 2:10 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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